Thursday, October 1, 2009

Oct. 1, 2009 - Utah Business: From the Editor

There used to be a day when the only colors that mattered to business owners were red and black. Balance sheets with lots of the latter were a good thing.

Welcome to the 21st century, where green is the new black.

Businesses across Utah are finding that a little investment in what we are now calling green technologies is paying off in the long run.

Those last few words, "in the long run," are the most important part of that last statement.

Jody Good, a principal at Spectrum Engineers in Sal Lake, gets excited when he gets a call from somebody interested in lighting. Good is one of Utah Business magazine’s Green Pioneers. He’s been finding ways to economically illuminate buildings for more than 20 years.

He’ll tell you that his greatest rewards are seeing his life’s work incorporated into local building codes and legislation. Next time you walk into a room or hallway and a light pops on, you’ll know that Good’s work with motion sensors is paying off.

And he is happy to share that payoff with anyone willing to listen. Good is quick to point out that up-front costs for most green initiatives are almost always higher than traditional high-energy use projects. But builders interested in saving money down tht road would be wise to adopt a green mind set.

The resurgence of all this green talk came coincidentally with out nation’s new economic hardships.

Depending on who you talk to, the recent recession isn’t over. But there is no arguing that today’s green wave struck as fuel and other energy prices began climbing a couple of years ago.

An industry that lay somewhat dormant since themed-1970s, green is making ground again as manufacturers realize it makes economic sense to reduce the overhead created by natural resource consumption.

Those in the service industry also discovered that simply turning off the lights when they are not in use can save money – sometimes enough to retain jobs.

Sure, theses are basic principles but now they’re mainstream too, so mainstream that these principles are even taught to future business leaders at local colleges.

Weber State’s MBA program, for example, has a full class of students learning how sustainability is a vital part of running a business.

In the next few years, we can expect to see green ideas take even greater hold in meaningful ways, as businesses learn that there is money to be saved and made by investing in simple technologies.

From the Executive Editor
David Kennard

Oct. 1, 2009 - Utah Business

Utah Green Business Awards: Celebrating Utah's Greenest Companies, Communities and People

by Linda Kennedy and David Kennard

If environmental pioneers from 150 years ago knew about Utah Business magazine's first Utah Green Business awards, they might say it is an event long overdue. That's because the history of considering our relationship to the planet reaches far back -- all the way to the Industrial Revolution's wave of mining, forest clearings and factory risings.

Writer Henry David Thoreau published "Walden" in 1854 to describe the harmony that humans can experience with nature. And John Muir, naturalist and writer, founded the Sierra Club in 1892.

A green tradition continued into the 1960s, when public awareness developed over the idea that humans were damaging the environment. Shortly after, the Kennedy Administration's investigation of the chemical industry brought bans on the insecticide DDT and corporate environmentalism and mandatory regulations emerged.

Though there's a long history of sustainable practices, today's view toward the environment has turned a deeper shade of green, with more and more people, companies and communities adopting environmentally friendly policies and preparing to go green for the long haul. Utah Business is proud to present our first Utah Green Business award honorees. Selected from numerous nominations by Utah Business editors and an independent judging panel, these honorees represent Utah's green leaders who based their practices on sustainability long before eco became a buzz word.

Join us in recognizing their accomplishments for doing business that acts in behalf of the planet and its inhabitants.


Xanterra Parks and Resorts: Talk about working under a spotlight. Xanterra Parks and Resorts has found ways to make visitors to Zion National Park enjoy and take part in the preservation of our natural resources. The company uses programs and innovations to enhance visits to the national park and to help the delicate environment in real ways. Some of the most impressive results have taken place at Zion Lodge where, since 2003, water usage has been reduced by 47 percent and solid waste headed to the landfill has been reduced by 32 percent. This is just a part of the environmental management system that also saw major reductions in the use of gasoline and propane. Guests who stay in the Ecologix Suites find biodegradable soaps, organic linens, filtered drinking water and a number of other sustainable features. Just this year, the Zion Lodge halted the sale of bottled water to reduce the amount of plastic entering the waste stream. Guests are now encouraged to purchase reusable plastic bottles and fill them at a water filling station. David Perkins, regional environmental director, says the re-education program has eliminated the sale of 30,000 bottles of bottled water so far this year. "Much of what has been accomplished is the result of programs and initiatives that have directly affected energy, water and fuel usage," Perkins says.

SRI Surgical: SRI Surgical believes that recycling is worthwhile, but the ultimate goal is to avoid creating waste material in the first place. Through reprocessing surgical linens and instruments based upon efficient water management, energy saving strategies, environmentally friendly chemicals and a sterilization approach that is the least harmful to humans, SRI Surgical helps reduce medical waste by providing reusable alternatives to disposable surgical products. Since 2000, SRI Surgical clients have reduced medical waste in the amount of more than 120 million pounds of disposable gowns, back table covers, mayo stand covers and drapes utilizing SRI Surgical reusable products. Also, clients have avoided adding nearly 45 million pounds of packaging waste to the national waste stream. Rich Baron, plant manager at SRI Surgical's Salt Lake City facility says though, that eliminating medical waste in the landfills not only helps SRI Surgical's clients; it has a positive impact on everyone in Utah. "Our goal is to continue to provide products and services that will have a positive impact on the wastestream." In May, SRI Surgical received Practice Greenhealth's Champion for Change award, which recognizes business' accomplishments in "greening" their own organization; waste prevention, recycling programs, reuse of office and shipping materials are a company focus at SRI Surgical's corporate facility and reprocessing plants.


Boeing Salt Lake City: The employees at Boeing Salt Lake City have watched proudly as their efforts continue to receive honors in the area of environmental management systems. In the last year, the company has done everything from replacing high-energy light bulbs to drastically reducing the amount of waste it sends to landfills. This year alone, the company has recycled more than 15 tons of cardboard, many tons of plastic, and several thousand pounds of wooden pallets and skids. And as a part of the recycling and waste reduction efforts, Boeing Salt Lake City is the first Boeing manufacturing facility to achieve zero-waste to landfill use. "We are pleased to see the efforts of this hard-working, cross-functional Green team being recognized," says Doug Dahl, site leader of the Salt Lake City facility. "The team is comprised of talented people whose innovations are creating continuous improvement that is beneficial to the company and the environment." In 2008, the fabrication manufacturing facility was awarded an ISO 14001 environmental management system certification from Det Norske Veritas, an accredited certification body of quality, environmental and safety management systems. The certification shows that the company has in place a system to monitor, manage and continuously improve its environmental management system. "Achieving certification is a tremendous achievement and an important milestone by our employees in reducing environmental impacts and preserving precious resources. Working together, as a responsible corporate citizen and neighbor, we are focused on reducing energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, pollution and waste at our facilities," says Dave Moe, director of Boeing Salt Lake City and Auburn site.

Marriott Mountainside: A green mindset has helped Marriott's MountainSide in Park City make significant strides toward reducing its environmental footprint, and Jim Marks, general manager, says he hopes to lead the way for Park City resorts and hotels to do the same. The resort's green initiative, launched in 2008, has helped changed the attitude among employees and guests alike. A green committee formed two years ago ushered in programs such as property-wide recycling and the reduction of inter-office paper. Energy consumption has been reduced by 75 percent thanks to replacing incandescent light bulbs with CFL bulbs throughout the property and installing better insulation on pipes supplying hot water system for the pool and hot tubs. Other resort green initiatives include transitioning to green cleaning supplies and donating used blankets and linens to local shelters and programs. In the coming year, Marriott's MountainSide will refurbish its 182 two-bedroom, two-bathroom villas with low-flow showerheads and toilets and Energy Star appliances -- which will include 150 refrigerators, ovens and dishwashers. Used furniture and materials involved in the project will also be recycled.


Joseph M. "Jody" Good: Since the mid-1970s, Joseph M. "Jody" Good has dedicated himself to how we use light. The principal lighting designer with Spectrum Engineers says his greatest rewards are seeing his work adopted by and incorporated into common practice and standards, especially in the building industry. He has overseen products designed to save energy including one of the first photocell controls for incandescent lights -- that sensor outside your home that turns off your exterior lights when the sun comes up. Good was on the ground floor of developing a time clock that controls light astronomically and he worked to develop architectural preset lighting systems that save energy in hotel lobbies and restaurants. Good's commitment to the smart use of light often translates into lower long-range costs to property owners. "In addition to designing energy-efficient devices, he advocates and conducts energy models for and designs systems that use daylighting, light harvesting, occupancy sensors, dimming and building-wide controls, long-life fixtures and dimming systems that extend lamp life," says Jackie McGill at Spectrum. "At the end of the day, an energy efficient building costs less to own," Good says. Good also is an advocate of reducing light pollution of the night sky. As a member of the International Dark Skies Association, he promotes methods such as down-lighting and timed lighting to maintaining safe night lighting while reducing the amount of light that escapes into the night sky.

Cliff Nowell, Shane Schvaneveldt, Therese Grijalva and David Malone: When fall classes began at Weber State University this year, university students working toward their MBA degree began a first-of-its-kind curriculum targeting environmental sustainability as it relates to the business world. Professors Cliff Nowell, Shane Schvaneveldt, Therese Grijalva and David Malone began developing the idea about eight years ago with the goal of adding value to the school’s MBA program. "The final course of the curriculum is a project-based, practicum course designed to assist regional firms in their plans to become more efficient in their use of resources and as stewards of Utah’s natural assets," says Lewis R. Gale, the dean of the John B. Goddard School of Business and Economics, adding that new executives armed with a background in environmental sustainability are valuable in today's job market. "Not only is it relevant and current," he says. "But many will go on to implement practices in business." When course work is complete this spring, the students will be the first to bring their environmental skills into the workplace.


The Green Sprouts category recognizes small businesses making outstanding strides toward improving the earth.

Bambara: Bambara is doing more than serving up good eats; the Salt Lake-based restaurant is becoming a sustainability leader in the dining industry—every detail, including using the most efficient Ecolab dishwashing machine with green soaps and sanitizers, is being incorporated into the restaurant's operations. The diner's experience, though, begins with using menus printed on recycled paper with soy-based ink, drinking organic teas, coffee and wines, and eating food from local farms, ranches and fisheries that are guided by environmentally friendly principles. Leftover food is placed in recycled sugarcane fiber containers and disposable utensils are made of corn starch. The fryer oil is recycled into bio-diesel and other products and scraps go to composting. "Eventually we hope that, along with our strong community partners, we can create an overall awareness that this isn’t just something that could be done or would be nice to do," says Art Cazares, Bambara general manager.

Rico Brand: In less than a year, Rico Brand has diverted approximately 58 tons of green waste and more than 3 tons of mixed recyclables away from landfills. About 500 pounds of used fry oil and meat scraps are diverted to Renegade oil, a local rendering and processing facility. And a cardboard compactor recycles approximately 30 tons of cardboard annually. But Rico Brand's efforts are not solely related to food; the 12-year-old company is housed in a retrofitted warehouse and uses low energy lighting. This year, Rico Brand gained Salt Lake City e2 business certification. "My goal is to eventually build a green building and make sure that every single package and label that we utilize is green," says owner Jorge Fierro. "We want to be known as a business that is very conscience about our environment." Recently, Fierro opened Rico Locals, a food cooperative that works with sustainable farms and allows farmers to sell their products at a sustainable price.


Swaner EcoCenter: There are many things you can see at the Swaner EcoCenter that visually represent Swaner's commitment to bridging the gap between people and nature; the center houses exhibit space, a theater, and classrooms dedicated to environmental education and outreach. More than 79 percent of occupied spaces have natural daylight and almost 90 percent of spaces provide outside views. But there are several components to the 10,000-square-foot building that can't be seen, yet are substantial enough to earn the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED-Platinum certification in July. "When people walk in they say 'you have a bamboo floor' - most people know bamboo is a highly renewable source. But what they don’t know is that the cement in the front hall has 25 percent fly ash mixed into it - fly ash is a bio-product from coal energy production and usually goes into the landfill. But if it's mixed into cement, we don't have to put it into the landfill," says Sally Tauber, director of business development at Swaner EcoCenter. From the beginning of the project, construction activity pollution was controlled and more than 69 percent of the site was protected and restored through native plantings. More than 12 percent renewable energy is provided with PV panels and a solar hot water system. And inside the center, harmful chemicals were reduced by using low-emitting adhesives, sealants, paints and Green Label Plus Certified carpet.

Kennecott Land: Many buildings and homes in Utah are currently being retrofitted with environmental- and energy-saving features. But the homes in Daybreak on Salt Lake Valley’s west bench, Kennecott's 4,200-acre community using non-mining and post-mining land, are built to Energy Star standards from the beginning. At full build-out, Daybreak will have 20,000 residential homes consuming an average 13 percent less energy than comparable homes. The Daybreak Corporate Center also received LEED-Platinum certification last year. It was developed adjacent to the homes and a mixed-use retail environment to facilitate walking between work, home and shopping. Plus, two operational bus lines and a future TRAX light rail line are within walking distance of the Daybreak Corporate Center. Scott Kaufmann, vice president of commercial development at Kennecott Land, says the company takes a holistic approach to development. "Since we own the land, we end up owning the commercial space after it’s built. It’s our project from building to end," he says. "So, we know that we have a great potential to impact what is built versus what could be built." Mark Miller Toyota When Mark Miller learned about the first LEED certified auto dealership in the nation, he flew to Texas to see how it could be done here in Salt Lake. In 2008, he brought those green practices to Utah, establishing a LEED-Gold certified dealership. Miller experienced a 10 percent increase in the construction budget, but turned out a state-of-the-art facility that is 25 percent more energy efficient than a typical building and includes things you wouldn’t expect from a company selling automobiles. A look at the structure itself—complete with an innovative skylight system to harness natural daylight—is a clue that this is no typical building. But beyond the obvious design features, the building uses a high efficiency heating and cooling system, low-flow faucets and toilets as well as waterless urinals, cool roof system, self-sustaining landscaping, a cistern to collect rainwater used to wash cars, preferential parking to carpoolers and recyclable materials inside and out. Miller says the fact that his business achieved LEED-Gold certification despite its high rate of air exhaustion, bright lighting and energy use typical of auto dealers is a testament to his commitment to the community. "Toyota has always been and continues to be a very environmentally conscientious corporation," says Miller. "Now more than ever, we need to be sure all elements of our operations meet that same high standard. This new building is a tangible demonstration of these core values and we are proud to be among the first to raise the bar."


University of Phoenix Utah Campus: The Green Team and the University of Phoenix Utah Campus knew they were on to something when the community flooded their phone lines last April. A well publicized electronics recycling event revealed the "pent-up" frustration over what to do with old TVs, cell phones and computer monitors. During the week leading up to Earth Day, the company collected more than 25,000 pounds of used electronics. The Green Team carefully checked the reputations of the companies accepting the material to ensure that 100 percent of each item was recycled. "We knew we could do much more [than the previous year] by getting the word out earlier in 2009," says Darris Howe, vice president/director at the Utah Campus. "The move in 2009 from an analog to a digital television signal, combined with campus drop off locations, proved to be the right combination as we experienced an overwhelming response."

Earth Goods General Store: Earth Goods General Store, which offers earth-friendly products for the home, school and office, found a way to walk the walk when it converted a 1970s era convenience store into a model of sustainability. The company already was known for its supply of socially responsible and environmentally sustainable products, but its place of business needed work. During its upgrade, work included the reuse of materials from the previous business, the installation of formaldehyde-free Slatwall and VOC-free paints, stains and varnishes as well as other materials to reduce its carbon footprint. Together with its other earth friendly initiatives in its workplace and the community, Earth Goods General Store lives up to its mission statement: "To provide our community with access to the products, information and resources they need and to enable the practice of more environmentally conscious, economically sustainable, and socially responsible lifestyles and business pursuits."


The Sequoia award honors businesses that have matured into a completely green business in practice and purpose.

ajc architects: The buzz words “environmental” and “sustainability” get thrown around a lot in business, but only a few businesses can claim they are green to the core. Ajc architects is one of those companies that can claim commitment to the environment. Not only do the designers promote the green agenda in their projects, but they strive to live and work with the same ideals as well. "We were constantly talking about sustainability in our designs and we began asking ourselves how our own workplace fit the model," says Jill A. Jones, president of ajc architects. "We’ve gotta walk this walk." The Salt Lake City firm promotes the belief that sustainable design is simply good design that fosters an understanding of a building's impact on human health and its environment. "There is just so much now that is affordable," Jones says. "We strive to involve the client, design team and construction team early to identify opportunities to design spaces and places that are both environmentally sensitive and inspiring." In 2000, ajc architects moved to its current facility where sustainability took the forefront of the building’s design from xeric landscaping, which saves 434,000 gallons of water annually. It also increased its paper recycling program, and in 2008 changed its work week to four 10-hour days to reduce operational costs and realize 20 percent less commute time during the week for its staff. ajc architects is very familiar with LEED certified projects, having received multiple certifications including LEED-Platinum certification for its Utah State University, Botanical Center Wetland Discovery Point and National Park Service, Mesa Verde Research and Collections Facility.

Sundance Resort: Since its earliest days, Sundance Resort has been known as a champion of green policies. Today, like it did in 1969, Sundance looks for ways to implement new ideas to stay at the forefront of environmental stewardship. The resort partners with Utah Power’s Blue Sky Program and Utah Clean Energy Alliance to purchase enough Renewable Energy Credits (REC) to offset 100 percent of its power usage. A Green Building Policy guides all new development and remodeling projects. For instance, the Spa at Sundance contains many environmentally responsible building products including low VOC paint, water saving devices, energy efficient lighting and heating, wallboard made from sunflower seed hulls and the use of Trestlewood—a lumber salvaged from the Great Salt Lake. Operationally, the resort exudes its green doctrine, from the products sold in the General Store to the organic produce and products used in it food services to the chlorine free paper products. Customers also are offered discounts for carpooling, and employees are encouraged to use the local bus service. Together with the not-for-profit Sundance Preserve, the company also works with public agencies on land management practices that promote healthy forests and habitat in its neighboring ecosystem.


EarthFruits: It's not often you find a Utah business saving the rainforest, but South Jordan-based EarthFruits, the largest exporter of acai in the world, is saving a lot of ground. And with the current rate of deforestation being the equivalent of an area the size of a football field every minute, EarthFruits plans to save more than 27,225 football-field-sized areas of the rainforest Last year, estimated preservation reached about 15,000 acres. EarthFruits also initiated a program utilizing unused seeds and other fruit byproducts to make jewelry. Each month, 10,000 bracelets are exported to the U.S. from Brazil and proceeds from sales go directly to the jewelry makers in Brazil’s local communities. And in September, EarthFruits partnered with a branch of the Brazilian government to teach Amazon natives sustainable harvesting techniques. "We've developed mutually beneficial relationships with the residents of various harvesting areas," says Marshall Snarr, national sales manager of EarthFruits. "Without their help, EarthFruits could not have kept up with the growing demand for acai and other exotic fruits in the United States. In return, we provide locals with a sustainable income.”

Harmons Grocery Store: Harmons Grocery Store has been selling reusable grocery bags and reimbursing customers 5 cents for each reusable bag they bring in since the mid-1990s. And the store’s paper bags are made from 40 percent post-consumer content, which contains some of Harmons’ own recycled cardboard. The store also reduces water use and trains employees to use more sustainable practices. But this year, Harmons’ efforts reached to a new level when the Brickyard store piloted a new sustainable practices program in order to reduce its impact on local landfills. It began sending produce and floral waste to a Salt Lake County compost facility and is working with local government and Allied Waste and Momentum Recycling to establish recycling practices inside the store. And, each of Harmons' 13 Utah stores has a sustainability leader to ensure environmentally friendly practices. Today, Harmons' efforts also extend beyond store associates and customers; Harmons' vendors are being challenged to develop new strategies to help the store reach its "zero waste" goal.


REDCO: Soon, renewable energy development company REDCO will help Needles, California harness the sun’s power to produce energy without generating pollution. Last June, Needles’ City Council and Public Utility Authority executed a 20-year power purchase agreement with REDCO to develop and operate a 5-megawatt solar thermal power plant, which will represent 20 percent of the city’s power. Here at home, REDCO is working with Utah companies Wadsworth Construction, International Automated Systems (IAUS) and Peterson Inc. to purchase, build and manufacture the project. "We are in the business of owning and operating wind and solar projects, but the demand for green power in Utah is not as active yet as in other states," says Ryan Davies, REDCO president. "But we want to stimulate Utah’s economy as much as possible—that’s why we’re working with Utah companies to do all our business here."

Reflect Scientific Inc. Approximately 350,000 refrigerated trucks are a part of today's trucking industry, and for every hour that a refrigerated truck runs its cooling equipment, it will typically use .7 gallons of diesel fuel. In a year, that collectively translates to more than 177 million pounds of nitrogen oxide, 154 million pounds of carbon dioxide and 19 million pounds of particulate matter being released into the air. But Reflect Scientific expects to see that change with its Cryometrix CB-40 technology, a zero emissions alternative to diesel-powered refrigeration. Cryometrix CB-40 uses liquid nitrogen to achieve the same cooling as with diesel powered refrigeration, but without harmful emissions and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). The technology has also been incorporated into freezers for the biotechnology and pharmaceutical market, demonstrating up to 90 percent energy savings over the conventional CFC driven systems. "Our biggest advantage to this is that it is a platform technology that allows us to go into multiple markets with multiple applications," explains Tom Tait, vice president of Reflect Scientific.


I-O Corporation: While computers continue to get faster and smaller, IT departments run into the costly problem of regulating heat and energy consumption. I-O Corporation’s ProEdge thin client technology has solved these problems by offering thin clients, energy efficient servers and support at a fraction of the cost of a traditional PC labs and networks. The company has found a niche helping school districts save energy and money on their computer labs. ProEdge thin clients consume 1/16th the power of a standard desktop PC and they remove the complexities of upgrading hardware and software releases and protect against viruses and internet threats. This reduction in hardware also translates into fewer machines eventually making their way to landfills. The end result is a dramatically lower carbon footprint and an environmentally friendly technology solution.

SIRE Technologies: Living with a free and open society necessitates the generation of countless public records. As technology has improved, so has the access to the public records required to run the business of government. The average city or county office consumes literally millions of pounds of paper per year in fulfilling its public obligations. SIRE Technologies makes it possible for governments to replace physical documents with electronic documents in creative ways. Web forms and applications now replace the need to travel to the county courthouse. Signatures can be captured for legal documents and files can be routed to the appropriate departments electronically. Streaming video allows residents to participate in city council or other board meetings live from their computer. This not only increases the ability to participate in local government, but is a substantial cost saving and a huge benefit to the environment. Locally, West Valley City implemented SIRE Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) to help the police department document accident reports that are now kept and transmitted electronically instead of mailed or faxed. The company is also working to automatically upload traffic tickets directly into the SIRE system—straight from a police officer’s car-mounted computer, virtually eliminating the need for paper. That translates into a savings of up to 112,500 pages of paper that no longer need to be printed. That’s a savings of or up to $11,250 for taxpayers.


Archiplex Group LLC: The demand to create an environmentally friendly workplace is arguably no more important than it is at an architectural firm that promotes building environmentally friendly structures. So in 2008 when Archiplex Group began the transformation of a former truck detail shop into its current office, it made every effort to be green. During the remodeling, as much construction material as possible was diverted from landfills to recycling services. A high-efficiency HVAC system with an economizer supplemented by two 10-foot fans also allowed the owners to show their commitment to sustainability. As clients enter the building, they are immersed into a teaching area that shows how materials can be used to compliment a building project. Highlights of the remodel include repurposing the 50-year-old building using Bonded Logic recycled denim (R30) insulation throughout open ceilings. The company also installed 3-inch EIFS applied to the exterior of the building and replaced single-pane windows with dual pane Low E glass. White reflective roofing also lowers the temperature of the roof by more than 40 degrees. Workers also use recycled products such as a reception desk made of 100 percent recycled paper, carpet made from recycled plastic bottles, sorghum (a rapidly renewable cereal) panels made into doors and the original non-insulated garage doors relocated to become interior walls The individual work stations were created out of demountable fiber wood panel products. Beyond what visitors see, the company sends out monthly green reminders for employees and has recycling bins at each work station.

L-3 Communications "Reduce the amount that you consume, re-use what can be, recycle all that is possible." That's the mantra at L-3 Communications-West in Salt Lake City. When Group President Susan Opp formed the CSW Green Committee, the intent was to find a way to implement the ideas coming from employees to promote an eco-friendly work environment. In April, the Green Committee sponsored CSW Green Day that included hands-on demonstrations and participation from local vendors including Green Building Center, Eco-Moto, Blue Sky, Questar, Thermwise, UTA and others. Ongoing workplace activities remind employees of the importance of the company’s earth friendly practices. These include a CSW green Website, green new hire letter, annual CSW green report and CSW newsletter. The company also donated 400 personal computers this year to schools and shelters, and recycled 660 gallons of used vegetable oil from its cafeteria. Through its Single Stream Recycling program, the company also recycled 120 tons of scrap metal and diverted 27 tons of recyclables from the landfill. The company also realized a 10 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions through its alternative fuel vehicles and provides bicycles for employee transfers across its campus.


Salt Lake City Corporation: What does a local engineering firm have in common with a Salt Lake beauty salon? Both were awarded e2 Business certification, a Salt Lake City Corporation program that recognizes small, local businesses for demonstrating how a healthy profit and planet go hand-in-hand. "Everything that you do for the environment means you're becoming more efficient, and when you're more efficient you're saving money," says Vicki Bennett, director of sustainability at Salt Lake City Corporation. Bennett, along with former Mayor Rocky Anderson and his environmental advisor Lisa Romney, started the program in 2003 to help small businesses address environmental issues. "This was at the time when there were some approaches for large businesses, but there really wasn't anything for your average, small business," says Bennett. The Division of Sustainability and the Environment (DSE) works with applicants to create com-prehensive annual goals related to energy, transportation use, waste production and water consumption. The initiative currently includes nearly 100 local Salt Lake City businesses in a broad range of sectors.

Central Utah Water Conservancy District: You probably know the Central Utah Water Conservancy District (CUWCD) as a force behind the slow-the-flow water checks, created to demonstrate the wise use of water in Utah landscapes. The program provides funding for statewide water conservation education through the State Office of Education and the Living Planet Aquarium. But many of its projects are behind the scenes in conveyance systems and water treatment plants that help meet the water needs of 10 Utah counties. "As we go about our business of developing water, we make sure there is still sufficient water for in-stream flows and other environmental purposes," says Gene Shawcroft, CUWCD general manager. The district has also helped preserve the June sucker, an endangered species in Utah Lake—the only place in the world where the fish live naturally. The CUWCD manages the Provo River's flow at different times and ranges according to the fish’s biological needs. The district's environmental impact also includes efforts to restore lakes in the Uinta Mountains. "When we built Jordanelle, the lakes were stabilized into a natural condition, benefiting wildlife and the natural environment," says Shawcroft.

JUDGING: More than 70 Utah businesses were nominated for the first of what we hope to be an annual recognition program celebrating the greening of our business environment. Judges, which included Utah Business editors with help from Michael O’Malley and his staff at Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR), lumped like businesses into categories and narrowed the field to 24, two of which rose to the top to represent the greenest businesses in the state. "I weighed [the entries] against three main criteria," O'Malley says. "Data indicating a substantive environmental impact relative to the scope of the business, impact within Utah, degree to which 'green' processes are embedded in the products and services of the business vs. generic workplace efforts. This is not to say workplace campaigns are not very good things, but for the grand prize, I felt 'walking the walk' was a differentiator."